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Filho Checks Into Rehab; WEC Fight Canceled

First we mocked him for pulling out of his WEC 33 fight against Chael Sonnen. Then it looked like he sacked up and the fight was back on. Well, now it’s off again, and drugs are reportedly to blame for Filho’s mysterious depression and personal issues. From

WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho has chosen to withdraw from his March 26th title defense against Chael Sonnen after voluntarily checking himself into an undisclosed rehabilitation center in Brazil on Thursday morning, March 13, to seek help for a substance abuse problem.

“This is horrible news, but we’re proud of him for stepping up and recognizing his problem,” said Filho’s manager, Ed Soares…“Paulo apologizes to his fans but he thanks them for their support and he promised that the next time they see him, he’ll be back at 100 percent and will be the Paulo Filho everyone expects to see.”

The WEC light heavyweight title bout between Doug Marshall and Brian Stann will now be moved into the March 26th main event slot. Any further plans regarding the card will be announced at a later date.

In a follow-up article on Sherdog, Jorge Guimaraes — also referred to as Filho’s manager — added:

“We tried our best with Filho, but it didn’t work and he’ll not fight in the WEC. He tried with all his effort to accomplish the title defense, but he realized he couldn’t do it due to chemical dependence and depression. He knew this kind of stuff does not have a link with the sport, and I’m happy he had a conscience and looked for help…The WEC staff was superb with us. They understood the situation, and Filho will return and defend his belt in June.”

Well, we wouldn’t bet on it. We’ve watched enough Celebrity Rehab to know that Filho has two choices here: focus on his recovery for a long period of time and get healthy, or go back to training and fighting around the same people and situations that allowed his drug problem to escalate in the first place. An extended rehab stay is necessary, but it could seriously get in the way of his training. Who knows if he’ll be ready three months from now, mentally or physically? We’ll update you when we know more, and we truly hope Filho can bounce back from this and eventually get on with his truly promising career.

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Dave- March 24, 2008 at 6:41 am
I think Filho made the right choice going to rehab and taking care of himself, rather than going out and proving he can beat sonnen while at 30%... again. He's unbeaten, and has nothing to prove. At the same time he's human, not the first to get addicted (maybe to painkillers perscribed by his doc) and the most important thing is him getting healthy all round. If it means missing a year, who cares, hes good enough to come back and re establish himself as one of the best. I'd like to see anyone try to manage their life and career while being a drug addict any better than he has, before saying enough is enough and going for the help he needs.
Ryan- March 14, 2008 at 8:31 am
the juice makes you a p#$sy
Noah- March 14, 2008 at 1:11 am
As we've seen many times before, going to rehab is usually just a cover. Mel Gibson doesn't hate Jews, he just needs to go to rehab. Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears aren't crazier than shit-house rats, they just need to go to rehab. Paulo Filho didn't cycle off his roids too late, he just needs to go to rehab. I know that Filho statement may be a bit harsh, but there's something more to this story than fear of Chonnen or tasty nose candy.
Turd Ferguson- March 13, 2008 at 6:30 pm
Yeah i guess i'd check myself into rehab to get out of a fight where the first time the dude kicked my ass but by the grace of the inept ref it was stopped.


They tried to make him go to rehab and he said, yes yes yes... so i dont have to fight Chael Sonnen